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National League for Democracy spokesperson Nyan Win was back in court last Friday where he’s on trial for making alleged false claims concerning voter fraud during the country’s recent by-elections.
The spokesperson is being sued by by Union Election Commission in response to allegations Nyan Win made about the body’s complicity with voter fraud.
In Naypyidaw on Friday, the court heard testimony from one of the prosecutor’s nine witnesses.
The trial is set to reconvene on 17 July, according to Nyan Win’s lawyer Kyaw Ho.
“The court will hear testimony from the prosecutors and prosecution’s witnesses first – there are nine – and then will hear Nyan Win’s side,” said Kyaw Ho.
He said the NLD’s attorneys are preparing to counter the witnesses’ statements.
On Friday, state newspapers published an announcement from the UEC concerning the lawsuit, in which the commission accused the NLD of failing to follow the body’s protocol that included holding a press conference where the NLD would retract their statements and formally issue an apology to the UEC.
After the NLD refused to comply, the UEC claims it followed through with its suit.
During the April by-elections, Nyan Win filed complaints to the UEC alleging that ballots in several constituencies were coated with wax, which would effectively invalidate votes.
The UEC formed a tribunal to investigate the claims and reported that the ballots were made with poor quality paper but had not necessarily been coated in wax.
As the NLD’s spokesperson stands trial, the opposition party is being hit with more lawsuits from election officials in Irrawaddy division’s Myaungmya township.
The NLD had tried to file 11 suits against election commission members in the township for alleged foul play during the by-elections; however, the party’s officials abandoned the charges after getting caught up in a web of red tape.
The local court rejected the NLD’s claims, but later accepted the counter-lawsuits filed by the UEC.
“So nothing came out of the lawsuit we submitted, but now we have ended up being defendants in their suits filed 10 days after us,” said Sein Toe, who worked as an NLD ballots station representatives.
The township’s courts will hear the charges against Sein Toe on 20 July.
-Aye Nai and Ahunt Phone Myat contributed reporting to this article.